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Okayama

Okayama
The home of Japan’s favorite folkloric character, some of its best-preserved historical sites, and amazing seafood from the Seto Inland Sea.
Okayama Tourist Attractions
Featured Restaurants

Bricole

Lunch: ¥3500-7000 - Dinner: ¥7000-14000

Aoi

Lunch: ¥2500-6500 - Dinner: ¥6500-10500

Ajisobo Mugi

Lunch: ¥4500-4500 - Dinner: ¥11000-11000

Kuikiriryori Happo

Lunch: ¥5000-5999 - Dinner: ¥15000-19999

Located on the Seto Inland Sea, roughly halfway between Hiroshima and Kobe, Okayama is a fantastically accessible but often overlooked pocket of Japanese culture, food, and nightlife.

This is the mythical homeland of Momotaro (“Peach Boy”) — a popular figure of folklore who was born from the center of a peach. He’s now the prefecture’s official mascot, so expect to see his rosy-cheeked smile everywhere.

While Momotaro came out of a fruit, visitors to Okayama have plenty of chances to get tucked into them. The climate of this sunny prefecture is perfect for groves and vineyards which produce some of the most delicious fruit around.

Okayama isn’t short on sightseeing spots either. The capital, Okayama City, has a fantastic castle and one of Japan’s three most famous gardens. Head a little further out to Kurashiki to visit its well-preserved canal district. Further still and you’ll find Bitchu-Takahashi, home to the oldest castle and only surviving mountaintop fortress in the entire country: Matsuyama Castle.

If you’re more into the contemporary then the historical, consider taking a trip to Inujima, one of Japan’s famous art islands. It literally means “Dog Island,” but don’t get too excited — it isn’t filled with puppies. What it is filled with is a great collection of modern art, housed at a converted refinery named the Inujima Seirensho Art Museum.

The land of Peach Boy is a pleasant and welcoming place at every turn, with plenty to justify a stop of a few days or more on your Japan journey.

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Frequently Asked Questions
What to eat in Okayama?
As we mentioned, fruit is very much on the menu here, with delicious grapes and lovingly-grown white peaches on offer (just check for Momotaro inside before you go chomping down). The Seto Inland Sea shellfish is also famously good, so Okayama oyster okonomiyaki (a traditional Japanese savory pancake) is a must-try.
What are the best things to do in Okayama?
Matsuyama Castle is worth a visit due to its sheer uniqueness among the few remaining Japanese forts, as is Kibitsu Shrine with its 400 meter long corridor. On a sunny day, head to Okayama’s Korakuen Garden for a stroll.
What’s the story of Momotaro (Peach Boy), Okayama’s mascot?
The story goes that an old couple who lived in the forest discovered a giant peach, and split it open to find a baby inside. Said baby grew up to become a demon hunter with a band of talking animal companions (yes, Japanese folklore is pretty wild).
What is Okayama famous for?
The names of premium Okayama fruit brands line the shelves of supermarkets around the country. It’s also well-known for its castles, a good few of which have dodged the calamities which usually befell Japan’s highly flammable wooden fortresses.
What to buy in Okayama?
If you like to get ancient with your souvenirs, then consider shelling out for some Bizen-ware. This is one of the oldest styles of earthenware pottery in the country, which produces the sort of historic-looking ceramics you’d expect to see in a museum.
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